Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Thursday urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling before the looming Oct. 17 deadline, pointing out in a USA Today op-ed that avoiding a default on the country's obligations is not an issue of spending.
From the op-ed:
We cannot put our nation in the position of not paying its bills because Congress has refused to raise the country's debt limit. It is important to note that increasing the debt limit does not give the government the ability to spend more money.
An increase in the debt limit simply allows us to pay our bills. Without a debt limit increase, our government will — in a matter of days — not have the resources it needs to make good on its commitments.
Only Congress has the power to lift the debt limit. That means only Congress can clear the way for our government to meet all of its financial obligations.
President Barack Obama warned Wednesday that a potential default should be meet with concern, particularly from Wall Street.
Although House Republicans are weighing combining a continuing resolution to re-open the federal government with the debt limit fight, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reportedly assured colleagues that he would be willing to raise the debt ceiling with a combination of GOP and Democratic votes.